Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Where's the money?

Rep. James Webb, in last night's "rebuttal" speech (in which he pretty much avoided rebuttal and turned to ranting against the POTUS' war policies), gave reference to the statement I've heard much bandied-about of late, about the turn of the last century's (ca. 1900, among the robber barons) CEOs having earned 20 times what the average worker earns, while today's CEO rakes in 400 times the net income of the worker.

This may or may not be true -- if enough people say it is so, why, then, it must be (kinda like the "Bush lied" meme) -- but what I'd really like to know is something an economist may be able to tell me: What are the percentages of CEOs to workers in both eras, and how many -- in flat numbers -- are there in each age?

If there are fewer CEOs per capita, and all the money is going into the hands of a dozen or so capitalist swine at the top of the hogpile, then we have a few things to consider (as IF I'm going to become a leftwit socialist!). If, on the other hand, more people are running their own businesses, and earning more as a result, and capable of employing more people (giving them starter jobs, for example), and are therefore redistributing wealth while keeping a big chunk for themselves, I might have a serious problem with the foaming, anti-Bush, novelist-turned-pseudo-politician's statements.

I'd do the homework myself, but my math skills are pretty embarrassing. Can somebody help set me straight on how the money really goes, comparatively speaking?

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